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US Defence Secretary to travel to India next week

US Defence Secretary to travel to India next week

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New Delhi: The pentagon on Wednesday announced that in the first overseas trip of a senior member of the new Biden Administration – US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin will visit India next week along with Japan and South Korea.

This is for the first time that India has been included in the itinerary in the first overseas trip of a US Defence Secretary.

In its official statement – Pentagon added that “Austin will meet with his counterparts and other senior officials to discuss the importance of international defence relationships and reinforce the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region – founded on respect for international rules, laws, and norms.”

The date of Austin’s visit to India has not been announced. However, it would be the last leg of his maiden foreign trip.

“In India, Secretary Austin will meet with his counterpart, Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh, and other senior national security leaders to discuss deepening the US-India Major Defence Partnership and advancing cooperation between our countries for a free, prosperous, and open Indo-Pacific and Western Indian Ocean Region,” the Pentagon said.

Strong defence relations of India with the US under the leadership of President Joe Biden – could be the new challenge for the Beijing government.

‘Quad’ is already designed to counter the Chinese activities at the international level, but strong bilateral relations between India and the US could be a headache for the Chinese government.

_Vinayak

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